What's Driving the Truck Driver Shortage in 2021? Infographic of 6 Key Challenges

Truck driver shortage infographic: 6 Key challenges for driver labor market in 2021

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Want to keep learning about the driver shortage?

Check out these related posts to dive deeper into the original research study.


What's Driving the Truck Driver Shortage in 2021?

The commercial truck driver shortage has been a trending topic for years. 

Some experts even claim there isn’t a shortage. 

To bring data into the conversation, Coyote teamed up with the labor market experts at Emsi.

While creating the original research study, we found 6 challenges fueling the driver shortage.


Challenge 1: Attracting New Talent

Younger workers are not entering the trucking industry at a rate high enough to replace an aging driver workforce.

  • 57% of all truckers are over 45
  • 23% are over 55
  • Only 20% are under 45
Challenge 2: Competition from Other Blue-collar Jobs

Younger workers are entering the logistics industry — but they are gravitating towards warehousing.

  • Over 62% of warehouse jobs are filled by people under 45.
Challenge 3: Long-Haul Freight vs. Work/Life Balance

Most freight opportunities are long-haul, but today’s driver wants the work/life balance that comes with local moves.

  • Coyote network data shows a 3% Y/Y increase in short-haul freight since 2019.
Challenge 4: Job Posting Is Ineffective

Carriers are posting for tractor-trailer drivers more than they’re hiring them — and it’s far more competitive than similar professions.

  • Heavy Duty, Tractor-Trailer Drivers: 9:1
  • Light Duty Drivers: 2:1
  • All Blue-Collar Occupations: 1:1
  • Warehousing 1:2
Challenge 5: Closing the Skill Gap

It takes time, training, and money to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), but employers are asking for experienced candidates.

  • 4,000,000 job postings required a CDL, #1 overall skill gap, most also required prior driving experience too
Challenge 6: COVID-19 Impact

The pandemic has amplified existing challenges, and generally reduced the labor force participation in the trucking industry.

  • -38% in truck driver job posting activity (2019 vs. 2020)


Get More Insights on the Truck Driver Shortage.

We’ve outlined a few of the challenges — download the full research study to dive deeper into the results and get actionable next steps for shippers and carrier.

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